The Christchurch Youth Council (Runaka Taiohi o Ōtautahi) is dedicated to advocating for a strong youth voice in Christchurch. We aim to provide young people with the avenue to have their say. We aim to create a community where the youth voice is as valued as all others in the community. Imagine every big conversation about Christchurch's future having a young person around the table: that's our dream!
Our Kaupapa: 1) Support and strengthen youth voices. 2) Encourage active citizenship 3) Create inclusive spaces for young people. 4) Foster and build networks and relationships. 5) Celebrate and uplift diversity amongst young people.
The Christchurch Youth Council (CYC) was founded in the 1990's, and was initially a subsidiary body underneath the Christchurch City Council. A few years later, the decision was made to shift it from the City Council, after which point the Youth Council found itself under a number of umbrella organisations. In 2014, we decided to become an independent organisation and became an incorporated society consisting of 16 members between 12 and 24. This independence gave us greater flexibility, enabling us to better represent the views of youth in Christchurch. Also in 2014 we hired a full-time employee, and acquired office space at Community House. This has greatly improved our connections with other organisations and increased the professionalism and legitimacy of the organisation. Moreover, it has enabled us to have a presence at more meetings, to organise better events and more of them, and generally to connect better with youth in the city and then make their voices heard.
How We Work
Our volunteer work encompasses these three domains:
WORKING FOR YOUTH
We run events where young people can speak their minds and get heard.
We remove barriers to young people being involved in having a positive, lasting impact on their communities.
We develop and connect young people and bring the youth voice space to life!
We make cool stuff happen for young people in Chch! That's key!
WORKING FOR US
We employ and manage a full-time Co-ordinator to ensure CYC runs smoothly whilst we are at school, uni and work.
We do internal training and development to upskill our crew
We decide what needs to be done and instruct our Co-ordinator accordingly.
We come into the office and work on our projects, supported by our employee, who keeps us on track
WORKING WITH 'ADULTS'
We work with and support agencies who feel the same way we do about youth issues.
We advocate for the interests of young people when we meet outside organisations.
We stay connected to decision makers to make sure they know the youth perspective and how best to work alongside us.